Day Fifteen

I am grateful for the smell of warm bread. It reminds me of coming home after school and my mom would have fresh baked bread ready and other treats. My favorite was the custard. We have made a commitment to make sure that Genevieve is taken care of by one of us before she goes to school.

I am grateful for this first Mothers Day for my wife. This is the culmination of her hopes and dreams. The Lord has blessed us with this miracle.

I am grateful for diaper pails. Do you know how many trips we’d have to make outside otherwise? That brings up another one, diaper pail inserts. Plunk and twist. Don’t forget the twist. Things you don’t think about before children.

What are you grateful for?

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Day Fourteen

I am grateful for coffee in the morning. I don’t really have a great story to tell but coffee in the morning the best part of the day.

I am grateful for air conditioning. To all my Washington friends, Virginia can be hot, miserably so. And in the summer people tend to move from one air conditioned space to another. Today, I’m standing under the vent.

I am grateful for the kids we got to host in our home in Virginia. For the last several years we’ve flown several of our godchildren and nieces out to stay the summer with us. It was amazing to see these little kids grow up before our eyes. God provided for those trips and I pray we can continue to bless them.

Night all. What are you grateful for?

Day Thirteen

I am grateful for the lessons I learned when I ran my own business. I started it from my bedroom. I began calling around to people that I new and asking if I they had any design work for me to do. While none seemed to present itself, I had one client ask me if I could get signs for them. It peaked my interest and started me on an incredible journey, including opening an office, learning photography and building sales reporting tools for the company. I met a lot of interesting people and was schooled by life’s tough lessons. All those experiences prepared me for the future.

I am grateful for music. I didn’t really appreciate music until I got older and began to find my taste. My wife tells me I am old soul and that seems to fit my taste in music. I love big band, oldies, jazz, soul, and the classic crooners like Sinatra and Martin. My father in law introduced me to Johnny Cash and country music, which I love. Music calms me, it helps me focus. I love the stories it tells with words and melodies.

I am grateful for my little radio that I bought from Radio Shack. On it I listened to the Mariners beat the Yankees for the first time in the playoffs. I listened to the Trail Blazers play against the legendary Michael Jordan in the NBA championships and I many nights instead of going to sleep I listened to Old Time Radio with Stan Freeburg. Freeburg was a voice over actor for many years and is credited as the Beaver in Lady and the Tramp as well as numerous animated cartoons. I learned an incredible appreciation of the power of the voice. I love old radio shows from the 20s – 40s during the golden age of radio. Never is a scary story so real as when you are picturing it in your mind, late at night, under the covers.

So those are my reflections tonight. What are you grateful for?

Day Twelve

So I’ve noticed something as I’ve been writing these blog posts over the last eleven days. At the beginning of this journey, I really didn’t want to write. In fact, it was all I could do to drag myself to the computer to conjure up some feelings of gratefulness. But, as time passes, each day it gets a little easier. Each day my mind is a little clearer and my memories a little sharper.

Experts say that it takes at least 20 days of repeating an action for it to become habit, and now I see why. I’m now looking for things to be grateful for every day and reminding myself of stories throughout the day. I actually don’t have to force myself to write anymore. I’m enjoying the journey. So, continuing on…

I am grateful to my parents who introduced me to my first political experience. It actually happened when I was 16 years old. My mom had heard of an event put on by some local political activists. She asked if I wanted to attend. I’m glad I did, because that night at dinner, I met a woman who hosted a radio show. Before I new it, she invited me and my mom onto her program to talk about our political opinions. I loved it, I couldn’t get enough, in fact I even applied for a local weekly teen talk show. My involvement grew from there and turned into an amazing adventure. But I always look back and remember that night and thank my parents for their support.

I am grateful that I went to private school. From fourth grade through seventh grade, I attend a private school in Albany, Oregon. It was the most formative time in my life and I grew with leaps and bounds. That school offered me a chance to push my mind, learn what I loved, and sharpen my skills. It was those teachers that offered my a door to a wider world of learning. I even had one teacher in fifth grade that taught me rudimentary calculus. I am grateful that God provided the means to attend that school and teach me things that I carry today.

I am grateful for the insurance provided by T-Mobile that allowed us to begin IVF and lead to our baby girl. Prior to last year, my wife and I always believed that God would give us children, but we took the stance that if He meant it to happen, then he would open the door. About two years ago, we were suddenly impressed with the need to get a doctor’s opinion. I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, why didn’t they go earlier? My only answer is, it wasn’t God’s timing. Anyway, T-Mobile’s insurance covered most of the cost, and, while we still don’t have a good answer as to why we didn’t get pregnant, we have our daughter. I will always be grateful for that.

So now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for?

Day Eleven

I am grateful for the friends that loved my wife enough to look our for her. For those that don’t know, my wife saw me in the jewelry store where I worked long before I met her. She had asked her friends to visit the store and ask me questions. Looking back, I’m sure it was at least four groups of friends that came through and scoped me out. It wasn’t until after she had received their approval that she asked me to coffee.

I am grateful for the stories that my dad told me as a child. My dad told me stories throughout most of my childhood, but the ones that stick out are the ones he told me while we lived in Pennsylvania. My dad was attending school, and we would walk from our house to the school nearly every day. My dad told epic stories, usually involving children battling monsters and defeating them with the help of God. I hope that I can captivate my daughters imagination the way my dad did mine.

I am grateful for learning about my family heritage. Recently, my wife and I subscribed to Ancestry.com and began digging. While my wife’s family has been in this country nearly 300 years, my family all mostly arrived in the late 1800s. I found out that both of my grandmothers grew up in orphanages in San Francisco. My mom never new that as my grandmother had kept it a secret, even from her. I also connected with my dad’s cousins, my dad had not seen them since he was eleven years old.

I appreciate all of the warm wishes from readers of this blog. It is humbling to read. What are you grateful for?

Day Ten

I am grateful for little girl giggles. Genevieve has begun giggling in her sleep. I can’t believe I’m blessed enough to experience these wonderful times.

I am grateful for the years my wife and I spent together before Genevieve. We had a chance to grow close together. Our relationship runs deep and I’m sure it will serve us well as we raise our daughter.

I am grateful for the woman that prayed for us. Both sets of our parents knew a woman named Flo. She lived near my wife’s childhood home. Somehow, even though our families had never met, we grew up with her praying for our future mates. She finally saw the answer to her prayers when she attended our wedding. It is an incredible thing and I thank God for those prayers.

Halfway to days, what are you grateful for?

Day Nine

I am tired, although I shouldn’t be.

I am grateful for the comfort of a pet. No matter how hard a day you’ve had, they are always at the door waiting and wanting you to run your finger through their fur. They don’t care what you’ve done or what success or failures you’ve had, they just want to know you’re there. Perhaps God made them like that, to be our comforters and reminders of His peace.

I am grateful for thunderstorms. There is nothing like a Virginia thunderstorm, it may sound odd to those that grew up here, but Washington state doesn’t get these kind of storms. They remind me that God is powerful, and yet as the warm rain falls, I get a strange sense of calm knowing that there are grand things in nature that make my problems seem puny by comparison.

I’m am grateful for a good night’s sleep. Since my daughter was born, I would say we haven’t had the best sleep. Although, I have slept better than my wife. But lately, slowly and surely, our little miracle is sleeping through the night. The experts tell you that will happen, but new parents rarely believe experts and expect these trials after birth to go on indefinitely. I pray that my wife can soon be grateful for her sleep too.

Tomorrow is day ten, halfway through. What are your grateful for?